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Harper to begin pro career Friday

Sep 14, 2010, 9:54 PM EST

ATLANTA — After a brief-but-storied amateur career, followed by a summer away from baseball, Bryce Harper's professional career is finally about to commence.

The Nationals' top draft pick will report to the club's spring training complex in Viera, Fla., this week and begin working out with Washington's instructional league squad on Friday, the first of several steps toward his eventual arrival in the big leagues.

Harper, who turns 18 on October 16, has been working out on his own since the Nationals drafted him first in the country on June 7. He signed a five-year, $9.9 million contract seconds before baseball's August 17 deadline but did not play in any minor-league games before those seasons ended last week.

In Florida, Harper will be joined by several dozen Nats prospects who play in the instructional league, often to get extra at-bats or innings after missing time during the regular season. Depending on how he handles his first foray into professional baseball, the catcher-turned-outfielder may then play in the Arizona Fall League (a finishing schoolRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Sep 14, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Have to check the schedules out, may be worth a little ride to see this kid hit. JTinSC

  2. Anonymous - Sep 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Well, if Al Kaline could do it … perhaps Harper could … but its going to take a lot of work … winter not just summer. Let's see what he does.

  3. Anonymous - Sep 14, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Looks like it will likely be a pitcher if they draft third or fourth next year.

  4. Sec3MySofa - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Mark, when do they have to decide whether or not to send him to the AFL? I thought that was already decided.But if not, how much time will I have to book my travel.

  5. Sec3MySofa - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    that last was a question, btw.

  6. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Any way they can just bag this instructional league stuff, and just have Mr. Harper report to Atlanta this week instead?

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Sec3MySofa: I believe they can wait right up until the start of the AFL season. They've got one slot still open on the roster. And if I remember correctly, last year they made a last-minute switch after Derek Norris got hurt, plugging Sean Rooney in there instead.

  8. Sec3MySofa - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    Thanks, Mark.So basically, if he does well enough and doesn't get hurt, they'll send him, I guess. Might as well start shopping for airfares, I guess.

  9. Sec3MySofa - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    So, to follow up:"The Fall League begins its 19th season on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The league will play its games at 12:35 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. Monday through Saturday in five Cactus League stadiums: Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise. For the second year, the league also will play one game at Camelback Ranch-Glendale and Goodyear.The championship game is slated for Saturday, Nov. 20 at Scottsdale Stadium.Read more: "Nationals players will be with the Scottsdale Scorpions, which is nice for me 'cuz it's close to Mom's house.





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